Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to Qena to vote. However, I wrote this quick report about the first day of the election there.
Residents reported high voter turnout Tuesday in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena, a governorate that has recently witnessed unprecedented political debate, especially among its youth which aims to sideline the tribal and family influences that usually dominate elections there.
Qena is divided into two constituencies for party list-based seats, which 176 candidates are contesting, and three constituencies for single-winner seats, which 234 candidates are contesting.
“What’s new about these elections is that we’re discussing the future of our governorate. People are fed up with the issues of families and tribes. They don’t do anything for the people. Now we should try the political parties,” Amgad Seoudi, a 28-year-old unemployed Qena resident, told Egypt Independent in a phone interview. Continue reading
The high elections committee on Sunday released a comprehensive tally of votes in Egypt’s recent parliamentary poll, the first phase of which was held on Monday and Tuesday.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) led the polls. It won 40 percent of the vote, while the Salafi Nour Party achieved 20 percent and the secular Egyptian Bloc secured 15 percent. The liberal Wafd Party won 6 percent, while the moderate Islamist Wasat party won 4 percent. Continue reading
Islamist parties are expected to sweep the first phase of the elections after the run-offs scheduled to take place on Monday.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is leading the polls with around 40 percent of the vote, according to a statement issued by the party on Saturday.
The moderate Islamist Wasat Party announced on Tuesday the final wording of its parliamentary electoral platform, saying there will be no changes to the provisions that regulate the relationship between religion and the state.
Among the Islamists, only the Wasat Party has announced publicly that it will not call for any additional provisions in the next constitution that regulate the relationship between the state and religion. The constitution is scheduled to be drafted after the parliamentary elections.
Wasat spokesperson Tarek al-Malt told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the party believes the clauses of the frozen 1971 Constitution, which are also in the Interim Constitution, that designate Islam the state religion and Sharia the main source of legislation are sufficient to protect the Egypt’s religious identity.
“Our stance is that the identity of the state is protected by such provisions, and it doesn’t need any additional clauses,” said Malt.
The new law regulating electoral constituencies soon to be announced by Egypt’s military rulers – in which electoral constituencies are larger with higher populations – will favor Islamist parties, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, say experts. Continue reading
It’s more than six months now since the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak (who’s being tried right now).
Viewpoints, publication by the Middle East Institute (MEI), have issued a new collection entitled Revolution and Political Transformation in the Middle East: Agents of Change.
MEI has said that this is the first of three publications dealing with Arab Spring.
The contributions are:
Stephen Zunes : he Power of Strategic Nonviolent Action in Arab Revolutions.
Srdja Popovic and Kristina Djuric :The Real Force Behind the “Bad Year for Bad Guys.”
Charles Schmitz: Yemen’s Spring: Whose Agenda?
Ronald Bruce St John: The February 17th Revolution in Libya.
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen has a nice piece entitled The Political Transformation of the Middle East and North Africa
Tarek Masoud has written a lengthy article at Journal of Democracy entitled The Road to (and from) Liberation Square.” (My impression is that Tarek is a good researcher but he once wrote in Foreign Policy defending Gamal Mubarak, arguing that Mubarak’s son is best hope for democracy.)
Photographed by Ahmed Shaker/ Al-Masry Al-Youm
New amendments to laws regulating the Egypt’s electoral process, which were announced by the ruling military council Wednesday, could pave the way for remnants of deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s regime to infiltrate the new parliament through corrupt elections, politicians and political analysts say. Continue reading